Utopia or Dystopia?
4 ways that technology will disrupt our world

Angela Ferguson


In The Economist’s January 2014 issue there is a report on how the rapid advances in today’s technology will fundamentally disrupt the job market (and our lives generally). Progress always has its casualties but there can be enormous benefit to societies via the rise of a knowledge economy.

The workplace of the future will be just one aspect of a Utopian society where technology provides increasing connectivity between communities and the boundaries of work and life are more blurred than ever. Futurespace recently created an installation for designEX called ‘Workopolis’ that explores the integration of production and play; and how people will create physical and cognitive space within a borderless 24/7 society. As traditional environments for working, learning and living start to dismantle there is a greater need for connection, choice and engagement and the creation of new types of ‘neighbourhoods’.

  • The natural world : measurement of physical distance becomes meaningless and people are no longer inhibited by their location. Isolation and connection can occur at the same time; we can choose to commune with nature or network across the globe no matter where we are. Community is global whilst our environment is organic.
  • Your global footprint: how do you define home? Is it a hotel or a plane or a business lounge? Is it an apartment or an office or a backpack? If home is where the heart is then being connected to your family, friends and professional communities means you are always ‘home’. Sharing information, remaining connected, current and present has never been easier.
  • The urbane world: sophisticated webs of systems create a multi-use environment where choice is unparalleled. The city is a platform for unlimited global connectivity and access to knowledge in real time. Energy, activity and preference rule; the buses are driverless and the taxis are user controlled.
  • Your social hub; ‘wearables’ prevail; technology is embedded in our clothing and under our skin. Local cafes are hot spots for metaphysical connections and melding of minds. Form and function matter more than aesthetic and it is possible for communities to be greater than the sum of their parts.

As the digital revolution transforms the world beyond our wildest imaginings, our lives become limitless in terms of opportunity, new ideas, and new ways of working, learning and living.